Six months after New York American Water began dismantling Glen Head’s nearly 100-year-old water tank on Dumond Place, the company hoisted its replacement into place at 11:35 a.m. on Tuesday.
The utility company contracted Caldwell Tanks, based in Louisville, Ky., to manufacture the new structure. Cranes standing several hundred feet tall were brought to the site on Monday in preparation for Tuesday’s lifting. The project cost $6.2 million, which is to be absorbed in NYAW’s capital investment budget, approved by the state Public Service Commission in 2017.
NYAW Engineering Director John Kilpatrick said the 500,000-gallon tank would store water for customers in Glen Head, Sea Cliff, Roslyn Harbor, Old Brookville and Glenwood Landing. The water tower, Kilpatrick added, is a critical component of the community’s water infrastructure, as it not only provides storage to help supply water during times of peak demand, but also takes advantage of gravity to pressurize the system, which reduces operating and maintenance costs.
The previous tank was the same size and style as the new one, but its replacement was necessary, as it had exceeded its service life and no longer met today’s engineering standards, Kilpatrick said. “We, as always, remain committed to constructing a tank that meets the infrastructure need for the system, is viable within the constricted site and is aesthetically acceptable to our customers,” he said.
Several residents were on hand by 11:15 a.m. when the tank was lifted off the ground. Jo Ann Petruzziello, who lives near the water tower, said it was great to finally see the new tank in place and commended the construction crew for their work. Having lived in Glen Head all her life, she said she was glad to be rid of the old tank, which she said had been outdated for years and often leaked.
Although the tank is mostly gray in its current state, Petruzziello said NYAW told residents it would be painted to be more pleasing to the eye.
“Hopefully this one will last almost 100 years like the other one,” she said. “I just hope they paint it a pretty blue like they agreed to.”
Vivian Cimmino, owner of Beautiful Flowers on Glen Head Road, located down the block from the water tower, also said she is happy with the construction, but she hopes it looks nicer in the future.
“They did it very quickly, and they did it very neatly,” Cimmino said, “so it wasn’t an inconvenience in any way, shape or form to my business.”
George Pombar, president of the Glen Head-Glenwood Civics Association, said several groups from around the area had worked with NYAW on this project for over two years. He said the new water tank is a milestone, mitigating concerns of water in the old tank possibly becoming contaminated owing to the disintegration of its interior.
He also said he is pleased to see NYAW took the community’s feedback by making the new tank look relatively similar to the old one, as the company initially wanted to make the tower into a large cement structure, similar to those found in the Town of Hempstead.
However, Pombar, who is also the chairman of public water advocacy group North Shore Concerned Citizens, said the organization is still upset about the price of the tank, which he said was nearly $3 million more than was initially planned. This, along with still having the highest water prices on Long Island, means the focus remains making the Sea Cliff Water District public, he said.
Nonetheless, Pombar said the new water tank is something of a small victory in the long run.
“We’re very happy it’s culminating now that this will be out of our way so we can move to the next topic, that being us wanting to move toward municipal water,” he said.